US Railway Travelogue – Episode 2: USRAIL002

Episode 2 of US Railway Travelogue from Tim Davies brings us the sights and sounds of San Francisco before he embarks of the first leg of his journey by Amtrak trains, on The Coast Starlight from Emeryville Station.

Known as “The City By The Bay“, San Francisco has been the inspiration behind many classic hits, most capturing a particular movement and lifestyle some fifty years ago:  Tony Bennett’sI Left MyHeart In San Francisco;”  Scott McKenzie’sSan Francisco;” The Flowerpot Men’sLet’s Go To San Francisco;”  and Eric Burden & The Animals’San Franciscan Nights“.  (You can see YouTube clips to each at the bottom of this post).

Tim seeks to capture a little of the essence of the city that is known for its steep hills; its large ‘Chinatown’; for Alcatraz; its cable cars; and its diverse and cosmopolitan population.  San Francisco is the 13th most populous in US, apparently the fittest in the US, and renowned for its progressive political culture.  Small businesses with less than 10 employees are said to make up approx. 85% of all city business establishments.

The photos below follow the audio of the Travelogue on the podcast as it progresses.

View from the 25th floor of the Hilton Hotel. Credit: Tim Davies.

After the flight, and train trip documented in Episode 1, Tim headed for his hotel – the Hilton in the financial district of San Francisco, next door to Chinatown.  As the view from his room in the photo shows, he was staying on the 25th floor.

On Day 3 of his journey, Tim heads down to Pier 39 for a tour of the bay by boat.

Pulling away from Pier 39. Credit: Tim Davies.
View of the city from the Bay. Credit: Tim Davies.
On the Bay, with the Oakland Bay Bridge behind. Credit: Tim Davies.
View of the Golden Gate Bridge. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Golden Gate Bridge. Credit: Tim Davies.

The boat trip passes under the Golden Gate Bridge, out into the Pacific, and then back into the bay, past Alcatraz.

The Golden Gate Bridge close-up. Credit: Tim Davies.
Beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Pacific beyond the Golden Gate Bridge. Credit: Tim Davies.
Alcatraz. Credit: Tim Davies.
Alcatraz. Credit: Tim Davies.
The Golden Gate from Alcatraz. Credit: Tim Davies.
Alcatraz from afar. Credit: Tim Davies.
Alcatraz. Credit: Tim Davies.

After the boat trip, Tim decided to take a “hop-on, hop-off” bus tour – the blue route as show on the map below, so that he could see the city from  double decker bus.

Bus Tour Map of the city. Credit: Tim Davies.

Tim’s final trip of the day had to be on one of the city’s cable cars.

At the cable car terminal. Credit: Tim Davies.

After the cable car trip, Tim was ready to collect himself together, and his baggage from the hotel, ready to catch a coach out to Emeryville Station, where he will board the first of the great Amtrak trains of this journey – in Episode 3!

Music credits:

Theme: “Steam Railway”, AK012, Composer: Kimber-McTiffen; Track Number 1, Royalty Free from “The Special Interest Video Selection“; (AKM Music);

Maple Leaf Rag, composed by Scott Joplin, performed by Stefano Ligoratti, (available via CC BY 3.0) from MusOpen.


Music inspired by San Francisco:-


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